Friday, June 22, 2018

Weeding the Garden, 2018

"Is that a case of the older we get the better we were?"

In past posts (  Jane helped me here and weeding in front ) I discussed my enjoyment of working in our yard, on the parts of it that are not grass. Summer has begun and our property is once again in need of some tender loving care … only the weed situation is far worse than ever. Perhaps due to all the rain we've had here. And the warm weather. Two images will demonstrate.

The first is a before picture of the west side of our peace garden last year. You can see there are some weeds among the hosta plants.
Figure 1: West side, weeds among the hosta plants a year ago.
The second image is one of the same location this year.
Figure 2: West side, weeds among the hosta plants currently.
You may be able to see there are some hosta plants among the weeds.

The east side of the garden was as overrun with weeds as the west side, and that is where I chose to begin weeding this year. The task was far more arduous than I recalled from prior years. I was able to use the long-handled tool to uproot the weeds without bending down, but there were so many of them that the next step, separating them from the woodchips and dirt within which they were growing and tossing them into my yard-waste bag, required frequent getting down to ground level. Knees hurt, back hurt, and getting up and down was grueling and demanding. It was hot, sweaty work, and the headband I wore to keep sweat from dripping into my eyes was quite wet, though not saturated so that sweat ran from it.

Perhaps, I thought, if I got down on my hands and knees, pulled the weeds from there, put them in a temporary container, and transferred the contents of that container to my yard-waste bag, I could minimize the up-down motions I had been doing. That worked all right, but I'm not sure it was easier than weeding standing up and working with the weed piles created from that position.

Even though both the temperature and humidity were reasonable, I was unable to finish the task without sitting down on the bench in the garden and taking water. There were plenty of weeds within reach from my seat on the bench, so I took advantage and pulled a bunch, as many as I could reach.

Eventually I was back on all fours, pulling weeds at their level. As I was bagging the last group, my wife came out and stood on the stoop fronting our front door. "How are you doing?" she asked.

"Oh, I'm all right," I replied as I wiped my forehead with the sleeve of my short-sleeved shirt. "I'm tired, and hot, but OK." There was a long
pause … and I added, "You know, I am not enjoying doing this as much as I did last year."

Ever the philosophical type, she responded, "Do you suppose that's a case of 'the older we get the better we were'?"

In spite of myself, I chuckled. "No, I don't think so. I think it's the thickness and height of the weeds this year." I returned to the task.

When I finished up, the Peace Garden looked pretty good:
Figure 3: East side, Peace Garden, after weeding this year.
The border with the lawn needs attention and some wood chips need to be added. While I'm glad to report the weeds are gone, I am aware that the hosta bed on the west side ( Figure 2 ) needs attention, as well, not to mention the two flower beds in the rear of the property and that eighteen inch strip of land bordering our parking slab. There truly does seem to be no rest for the weary.
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